Daylong Clinic Covers Horse Health, from Head to Hoof

Jan 13, 2016 / General News

[Dr. Gutierrez examines a horse]

Horse owners from across Illinois will gather in Urbana on February 6 to learn about the care and keeping of their hooved animal companions at the annual Horseman’s Clinic, offered by the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

The $40 per person registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, a facilities tour, and lectures covering hoof care, neurologic disease, colic, injury recovery, geriatric care, and barn air quality. Four hands-on demonstration sessions are available for a small additional fee. Speakers and demonstration presenters include experts from the state’s only veterinary college.

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“Over the past several decades, the proportion of horses living to advanced ages has increased because of improved nutrition, preventive health care, and owners’ adjusted expectations of their senior horses,” says Dr. Scott Austin, a boarded specialist in equine internal medicine. Dr. Austin will be speaking at the clinic about steps owners can take to ensure a healthy, comfortable old-age for their horses.

“The majority of horses greater than 16 years of age will have a medical problem that requires veterinary attention to maintain health or comfort,” he says.

Dr. Santiago Gutierrez-Nibeyro will focus on equine rehabilitation. Just like human athletes, horses may suffer an injured tendon or a chip fracture of a carpal bone, and their recovery will likely involve rehabilitation therapy.

“Physical therapy and rehabilitation play an important role in performance enhancement, injury prevention, and restoration of full function during recovery from injury,” says Dr. Gutierrez-Nibeyro, who is boarded in equine surgery as well as in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.

Typically, a horse must be rested after an injury, and this period of inactivity causes its own set of problems: shortened limb extension, lack of agility, and visible signs of discomfort once the horse is moving again. When horses undergo rehabilitation as they heal, these deficits can be lessened or prevented.

Therapies are used to rehabilitate performance horses include the use of heat and cold, laser, ultrasound, hydrotherapy, massage, acupuncture, stretching, chiropractic, controlled exercise, and more.

Other topics and speakers at the Horseman’s Clinic include Barn Air Quality and Transmissible Disease Prevention, Dr. Kara Lascola; Hoof Care and Common Problems, Steve Sermersheim, farrier; Neurological Disease, Dr. Jonathan Foreman; and Colic: What You Need to Know, Dr. Annette McCoy.

Optional demonstrations include Identifying Lameness, Physical Exam and Administering Medications, Bandaging Techniques, and Vets in Training.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the University of Illinois Student Chapter of the American Association of the Equine Veterinary Practitioners, a non-profit organization.